Photography by: Middle Child Photography
Litchfield Plantation is located on the Waccamaw River and is accessible from Kings River Rd in Pawleys Island, SC.
The original plantation land was located north of Waverly Creek and stretched from the Waccamaw River all the way to the Atlantic ocean and included much of what we call Litchfield Beach today. The Plantations earliest date of existence was around 1710 and was 3 separate land grants given to Thomas Hepworth by King George II. The original three land grants were 500, 500 and 420 acres give in 1710, 1712 and 1711. The plantation was named Litchfield by Peter Simon with the first reported statement of its existence being in his will. Peter Simon built the original mansion or Plantation House in 1740 and it still stands today operating as a wedding and event center.
On November 10, 1794, Simons died and the property was divided between his 2 sons. John Simons inherited Litchfield, which the southern parcel that was narrow and stretched from the river all the way to the sea shore. Not long after John Simons inherited the property he sold Litchfield Plantation to the Tucker family who became the most well known owners of the plantation. The Tucker family owned the plantation from 1796 until 1897, three generations of Tuckers called the plantation home, ending with Dr Henry Tucker.
The Tucker family came to South Carolina from Bermuda. Daniel Tucker was a politician and had three sons. The eldest son was John Tucker who eventually inherited the plantation and perfected methods for growing rice. By 1850 Litchfield Plantation was producing over one million pounds of rice a year.
Upon the death of John Tucker the property was passed to his son Dr Henry Massingberd Tucker. Dr Tucker served as a volunteer with the Confederate Army for four years during the Civil War. He was also a staunch Episcopalian and when a new church was built he had the old All Saints Church dismantled and moved to his property.
It is rumored his ghost still visits the property regularly. The ghost of Dr Tucker has been seen at the main house in the Blue Room, which was his bedroom, and on the back stair case that he used late at night when returning home from house calls.
Dr Tucker was also a sportsman and won many tournaments at the Georgetown Rifle Club.
Very little information is recorded on the history of slaves at Litchfield Plantation, although it is established by many sources that slaves were used to work the plantation and other plantations in the area. One of the most distinguishing characteristics of Litchfield Plantation is the existence of a cemetery used by slaves of Litchfield Plantation and their descendants. According to an archaeological investigation performed by Brockington and Associates in 1989 the cemetery holds about 150 possible graves. Only 2 of those graves are marked with dates 1888 and 1920.
Louis Claude Lachicotte, part of Breslauer, Lachicotte and Company, bought Litchfield Plantation from Dr Tucker in 1897 and started South Carolinas first canning factory that packed vegetables and seafood at the plantation.
The Lachicottes sold the property 14 years later in 1911 to Joshua John Ward of Brookgreen and Arthur Herbert Lachicotte of Waverly and they held the property until 1926.
Dr Henry Norris purchased Litchfield Plantation in 1926 and restored much of the original plantation house. He repaired the home and added a wing on both sides of the property. Dr. Norris became a generous benefactor to the Waccamaw community. During the time he owned the property he landscaped and developed the grounds. He also built the wrought iron gates and brick gateway at the entrance of the property.
Later the Parker family and J.P. Booth continues and extended Norris vision by landscaping the old brick street to the north of the house. Also during this time is when the Azaleas were added to line the avenue of oaks and the reflection pool was added to the front lawn of the main house.
Litchfield Plantations modern history began in 1969 when the Plantation was sold to Litchfield Plantation Company and development began to create an upscale, gated neighborhood.